Friday, April 29, 2016

Cookie Fail?

The other day, my kids and I went grocery shopping for a few things. We passed by the bakery section (which was on the way to another section of the store I was planning on hitting up) and of course my kids asked me to stop and look for cookie samples for them at the bakery. Usually, there aren't any samples left (because we shop later in the day), and even told my kids not to get their hopes up. But, my kids insisted we check it out anyways, and to my surprise, they actually had some cookies out to sample which made my kiddos very happy! Lucky me!
We grabbed a sugar cookie and what we thought was a ginger cookie with chocolate chips. Both were delicious!! So of course, we thought it would be a great idea to try and find a recipe for the ginger cookie we sampled and that is what we did after we got home from the store.

I found a great recipe here, so we decided to head back to the grocery store a little later to grab a few more ingredients we were missing to make the cookies that we didn't have on hand at home.

Side note: This recipe calls for candied ginger. I had no idea what that was and apparently you can buy them pre-made, but we decided to go ahead and make our own candied ginger since it looked pretty easy and fun. I have to say that the juices from the ginger, sugar, and water mixed together are delicious. We used them as a mix in sauce for some rice for dinner and I would recommend it!! It turned out to be such a great sauce that I made it 2 days in a row!

Following the recipe was pretty simple...and as an f.y.i.-there were a few things listed out of order, so if you decide to use this recipe just keep that in mind. 

They looked great once they were done...but they certainly didn't taste like the sample cookie we had at the grocery store. And I knew they wouldn't be exact, but they came no where close.

Below is a picture of my daughter excited to try the cookie...little did she know that she really wouldn't like them and I don't blame her...the ginger was a bit over-powering, even for me, and we would make them differently if we were to try this recipe again.

So, if you are a big fan of ginger and/or spices, definitely give these a whirl! You will probably really like them and the candied ginger in each cookie will be a nice surprise.

Oh, and one last thing, a few days later I went back to the grocery store for some miscellaneous things and decided to swing by the bakery to see if I could find the kind of cookies we sampled a few days prior and was way off on the name...they weren't ginger cookies after all! They were in fact pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips! Oops!! I had to laugh though after finding that out because my oldest and I swore it was a ginger cookie we sampled.

Now on to finding a good pumpkin cookie recipe where we can add in dark chocolate chunks and hoping that tastes better! ;)

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Most Recent Thrift Store Find

Last week, I took the kiddos to Colonial Williamsburg for a bit to play, and since we were in the area, we stopped in at a few thrift stores afterwards. As it mostly seems to turn out, I was in there looking for a tall dresser to refinish, and instead found 2 little rocking chairs (which of course wasn't on my radar to find in the first place). The girls and I were instantly drawn to them, but we didn't leave right away with them. We ran a few more errands around town and decided to head back to the thrift store to get them after all. 
What makes it even better is that we only paid $15 for BOTH of the rocking they were hard to pass up! 
And as an FYI- I never found the dresser I was originally looking for, but am still on the hunt for the right one. ;)

So here is how the rocking chairs looked after we bought them and brought them home.

They were very cute. Very.cute.indeed.

But, the original wood did not match the other, and I wasn't fond of the quilted coverings. I am keeping the covers just in case my girls want to use them, but I wanted the rocking chairs to match, so I took out some blue spray paint I had lying around in the garage somewhere and sprayed away.

After the chairs dried outside, it was time to bring them in to the girl's bedroom and see how they looked!

We found the perfect spot for both of them, right in front of the faux fireplace.
Now they have a place to put their dolls as opposed to keeping them in the bookshelf where they were hidden before. 

I'm also digging the bold blue paint on these rocking chairs. It adds some color to an otherwise very neutral and pink room. :)

Even thought it doesn't always happen, it's nice to find little surprises every now and then at the thrift store that can work in our home.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Another Trip to the Museum

So recently we got these passes to a local museum in our area and my girls are digging it! We probably go there a few times a week- no joke- and my girls haven't tired of the place yet. 

And this little (well, not so little) tortoise is always quite the hit with my daughters. They love to crawl inside of it...I have always been meaning to take pictures of that, and finally remembered to bring my camera with me on this visit to capture it.

Eyes closed in this bottom picture...they said it was because the sun was shining in their face. :) Oops!

We then took a nice walk outdoors to see some otters. Those fellas sure are cute and quite the swimmers!

We spotted a beaver getting out of the water in the picture below. I couldn't get him in the picture and the girls at the same time- oh well- but he was there, I promise. ;)

After taking a nice walk on the trail and playing on an outdoor play ground for a little bit, we headed back indoors. We always have to stop and "dissect" the frog at this little kiosk they have. This thing is a big hit with my middle child. I might be speaking too early, but I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up doing something in the medical field. Without fail she stops at this kiosk at every visit and probably dissects this frog 2 to 3 times in a row. ;) She is very fascinated by it.

And while she is focused and working on the frog, my oldest can be found climbing this big tree trunk they have on the floor. She is very active and loves anything outdoorsy. Loves to be on the move as you can tell by the blurry photo!

This particular museum also has a section where you can pretend play to be an animal keeper or a veterinarian. We have spent many hours in just this little section alone. It's pretty neat and my girls are particularly fond of the kitchen they have (where you can prep food for the pretend animals) and the x-ray area (where you can look at real x-rays of some of the animals they have). 
It's some interesting stuff and very educational!

It's been so fun to watch what interests my girls at these places because they gravitate towards different things. 

Do you frequent any particular museums in your area? What interests your kids?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Family Visit

Recently, we've been able to spend some time with family who is in town visiting us for a few days...and boy do our kids love visitors! 

Some of the things we have gotten to do together so far was shop at the outlets in our area...followed by watching our girls play on the various "toys" they had there (like the merry-go-round).

We also had the chance to celebrate a family step-mother's birthday. It was fun to see our kids light up as they gave their gifts to her...they worked hard on making some artwork for her birthday as well and it's a joy to watch them get so excited about that.

And our little boy loved every minute of the attention he got from family. :)

We still get one more day with them and then they are headed back to Florida where they live. I'm sure the girls will be sad to see them go, but it was a good visit and we are glad we got the chance to spend some time together.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Rainy Mornings

Rainy days...

I'm not really a fan of rainy days. Mostly in part because a lot of time is spent indoors, and I would rather be outside in the sunshine. But, I do realize that rain is good- for lots of reasons.

Besides the obvious, rainy days for us are good for and consist of...

-making chocolate chip pancakes (and eating the chocolate chips before, during, and after making pancakes!)

-watching movies together as a family and snuggling on the couch

-doing crafts/artwork together

-building forts around the house

-cleaning (although that didn't happen much on today's rainy day)

-being mindful of the good things God has done for us

-naps (mostly for my kiddos- but sometimes good for mama too)

-jumping in the puddles once the rain has passed and the sun is shining

And thank goodness that after the dark clouds and rain comes the bright shining sun!!

How do you like to spend your rainy days?